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Roger Reynolds

The Paris Pieces (2CD)

Label: Neuma Records

Format: 2CD

Genre: Electronic

In stock


** 2021 Stock ** This is invaluable documentation of the electro-acoustic works of Roger Reynolds. The product of time spent at IRCAM, Pierre Boulez' Paris institute, some of the pieces bear a strong resemblance to "Repons," the highest-profile Boulez composition using the state-of-the-art IRCAM technology. This is even less surprising since they were recorded by Boulez's Ensemble Intercontemporain. "Archipelago" was composed in 1982-3, for 32 instruments and 8 tracks of computer generated sound. On hearing a performance, John Cage said to Reynolds "[t]his should keep you busy for the rest of your life," because of its rich complexity. "Summer Island" and "Autumn Island" are spin-offs of "Archipelago," featuring oboe and marimba respectively. "Summer Island" is stunningly beautiful, the easiest piece on the disc to appreciate on first hearing. "Odyssey, an opera in the mind" (1989-93) is a difficult work, to say the least. I will be listening to it alongside Nono's "Prometeo" for years, I'm sure, plumbing its depths. Featuring text from a poem by Samuel Beckett, Reynolds, believe it or not, uses equations from chaos theory to organize the computer-manupulated vocals, using the lyrical pitch structures of the voices as the basis for sound reorganization. Some pieces, such as Reynolds' string quartets ("Coconino," recorded by the Arditti Quartet), I find engaging and compelling despite my patent failure to completely understand the compositions' structures. With "Odyssey" I am not as compelled, and hence the four stars instead of five. I remain convinced that Roger Reynolds is one of our most under-recognized contemporary composers, one of America's finest alongside Elliott Carter and Morton Feldman. _ Amazon editorial review

Cat. number: 450-91
Year: 1996

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